A word for our sponsors

Almost 40 years ago, Jacques Bailly⁠ won the prestigious Scripps National Spelling Bee with the word elucubrate. We’re thinking about words even more than usual at New Haven Reads, as we prepare to test the mettle of competitors in our own Spelling Bee next month. This particular word stood out. 

Why? Elucubrate means “to burn the midnight oil,” so to speak—or, literally: “To produce by long and intensive effort.” And that’s a great way to describe the work that goes into our annual Spelling Bee.

When folks swarm the Yale School of Management on Oct. 25, whether to compete for our 8th annual trophy or cheer from the audience, they’ll experience an unforgettable night that represents the combined efforts of so many community members. Our partners make our Spelling Bee possible, and we couldn’t be more thankful. 

This year, we’re proud to call these Greater New Haven organizations and individuals our Spelling Bee sponsors:

2019 Gold Sponsors






2019 Silver Sponsors








2019 Bronze Sponsors

We hold our annual Spelling Bee to raise funds for year-long literacy programs that we provide, free of charge, to students and families in the community. That’s why our sponsors support our work, too—like Claire Criscuolo, the owner of Claire’s Corner Copia. 

“I’ve seen first hand the way your work changes lives! Actually changes lives.”

Claire Criscuolo, Bronze Spelling Bee Sponsor

Claire recently shared with us the story of Angel: the son of one of Claire’s long-time team members at the restaurant. Angel was having a tough time in school because of his low reading scores.

“As we know,” Claire says, “if you can’t read well, you can’t do as well in school.” That’s because literacy is a fundamental building block for all education that follows—so Claire and her coworker tried everything they could to help Angel become a stronger reader. Eventually, they found Angel an opening at New Haven Reads. 

“Even after just the first year, his confidence was in line with his success in reading,” Claire says. “I could see it in his everyday actions: he felt more comfortable speaking and engaging, and he started to enjoy school. This is huge!”

Today, Angel is a senior at Eli Whitney Technical School in New Haven, on track to become an electrician. In his time outside of class, Angel shares what he’s learned from New Haven Reads with his younger brother Jacob—also an NHR student—by encouraging and guiding him in literacy practice at home. 

“We all benefit when we allow every child to reach their full potential,” Claire says. “And that’s sustainable!”

To learn more about our sponsors and why they support New Haven Reads, follow along on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook as we count down to the 8th Annual Spelling Bee on Oct. 25. Want to compete? Team spots are going fast! Register your three-person team here for $225, and remember: 100 percent of proceeds go toward free New Haven Reads literacy programs.